Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis


Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources

Thesis Type

Honors College

First Advisor

J. Ellen Marsden

Second Advisor

Matthew Futia

Third Advisor

Paige Blaker


Salvelinus namaycush, lipids, Lake Champlain, stocking, strains


Lake trout in Lake Champlain were extirpated around 1900 and re-introduced through stocking in 1958. Lake trout populations in this system consist of Seneca Lake (Seneca) strain stocked by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), Lake Champlain Domestic (LCD) strain stocked by Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife (VTDFW), and naturally produced (wild) individuals. Post-stocking performance of the two hatchery strains has not been evaluated or compared with wild fish performance. A lipid content analysis, combined with genetic identification, was used to compare juvenile performance among these three groups. Lipid content of the two stocked strains were similar across ages and regions and were significantly greater than (Seneca) or equal to (LCD) the lipid content of the wild population. Thus, both stocking strategies likely produce fish with sufficient lipid content for survival. However, substantially fewer LCD strain juveniles were found at older ages than Seneca strain fish indicating other factors may cause different survival rates between the two strains, but needs to be investigated further. Seneca strain lake trout are no longer stocked in Lake Champlain, but understanding differences in performance between the Seneca and LCD strain lake trout is important for management. Sustaining the wild lake trout population would benefit from stocking the most fit hatchery juveniles and lake trout stocking strategies in Lake Champlain may need to adjust. On a broader scale, this study highlights the importance of assessing stocked fish health so valuable money, time, and fish are used effectively.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Available for download on Friday, May 09, 2025